BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1381
                                                                  Page  1

          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 1381 (Simitian)
          As Amended  August 20, 2010
          Majority vote

           SENATE VOTE  :   28-4
            
           EDUCATION           8-0         APPROPRIATIONS      12-5        
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Brownley, Nestande,       |Ayes:|Fuentes, Bradford,        |
          |     |Ammiano,                  |     |Huffman, Coto, Davis, De  |
          |     |Arambula, Carter, Eng,    |     |Leon, Gatto, Hall,        |
          |     |Miller,                   |     |Skinner, Solorio,         |
          |     |Torlakson                 |     |Torlakson, Torrico        |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |     |                          |Nays:|Conway, Harkey, Miller,   |
          |     |                          |     |Nielsen, Norby            |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :  Moves up the dates by which a child must turn five to  
          enroll in kindergarten and six to enroll in first grade.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Specifies that the provisions of this bill may be cited as the  
            Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. 

          2)Specifies that notwithstanding Education Code Section 41204(d),  
            in computing the average daily attendance (ADA) of a school  
            district, there shall be included the attendance of pupils in  
            kindergarten after they have completed one school year in  
            kindergarten or pupils in a transitional kindergarten program  
            after they have completed one year in that program if one of the  
            following conditions is met:

             a)   The school district has on file for each of those pupils  
               an agreement made pursuant to existing law, approved in form  
               and content by the department and signed by the pupil's  
               parent or guardian, that the pupil may continue in  
               kindergarten for not more than one additional school year;  
               or, 

             b)   The pupils participated in a transitional kindergarten  
               program.








                                                                  SB 1381
                                                                  Page  2

          3)Specifies that a school district may not include for  
            apportionment purposes the attendance of any pupil for more than  
            two years in kindergarten or for more than two years in a  
            combination of transitional kindergarten and kindergarten.  

          4)Specifies the following dates by which a child must turn five to  
            enroll in kindergarten maintained by the school district:

             a)   On or before December 2 for the 2011-12 school year;

             b)   On or before November 1 for the 2012-13 school year;

             c)   On or before October 1 for the 2013-14 school year; and, 

             d)   On or before September 1 for the 2014-15 school year and  
               each school year thereafter.

          5)Strikes the provision authorizing a child who will have his or  
            her fifth birthday on or before December 2nd to be admitted to  
            the prekindergarten summer program maintained by the school  
            district for pupils who will be enrolling in kindergarten in  
            September.

          6)Specifies that as a condition of receipt of apportionment for  
            pupils in a transitional kindergarten program, a school district  
            or charter school shall ensure that a child is admitted to a  
            transitional kindergarten program maintained by the school  
            district as follows:

             a)   In the 2012-13 school year, a child will have his or her  
               fifth birthday between November 2 and December 2;

             b)   In the 2013-14 school year, a child will have his or her  
               fifth birthday between October 2 and December 2; and, 

             c)   In the 2014-15 school year and each school year  
               thereafter, a child will have his or her fifth birthday  
               between September 2 and December 2.

          7)Defines "transitional kindergarten" as the first year of a  
            two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten  
            curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.  

          8)Specifies that a transitional kindergarten shall not be  
            construed as a new program or higher level of service.








                                                                  SB 1381
                                                                  Page  3

          9)Makes corresponding changes to the dates by which a child must  
            turn six to enroll in first grade as follows:

             a)   December 2 for the 2011-12 school year;

             b)   November 1 for the 2012-13 school year;

             c)   October 1 for the 2013-14 school year; and, 

             d)   September 1 for the 2014-15 school year and each school  
               year thereafter.

          10)Specifies that for good cause, the governing board of a school  
            district may permit a child of proper age to be admitted to a  
            class after the first school month of the school term.

          FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee:

          1)General Fund (GF)/Proposition 98 revenue limit funding costs of  
            $19.8 million in 2011-12, $40.5 million in 2012-13, and $57.2  
            million in 2013-14 associated with additional children attending  
            a transitional kindergarten program as opposed to enrolling in  
            kindergarten.

          2)Annual GF/Proposition 98 state reimbursable mandated costs, of  
            at least $13.2 million to school districts to hire additional  
            teachers for the transitional kindergarten programs.

          3)Annual GF/Proposition 98 state reimbursable mandated costs, of  
            at least $2.6 million to school districts to provide  
            professional development to teachers and purchase portable  
            classroom facilities for the transitional kindergarten program.   
             

          COMMENTS  :  This bill moves up the date by which a child must turn  
          five for kindergarten entry one month per year beginning with the  
          2012-13 school year for three years.  By the 2014-15 school year,  
          a child must be five years old on or before September 1st in order  
          to start kindergarten.  California is one of four states  
          (Connecticut, Michigan and Vermont) to have cut-off dates between  
          December 1 and January 1.  Thirty five states have cut-off dates  
          between August 31 and October 16; four states have cut-off dates  
          on or before August 15; six states leave the entrance-age decision  
          up to local school districts; and one state allows districts to  
          choose September 30 or August 1.  It is estimated that 115,000 or  







                                                                  SB 1381
                                                                  Page  4

          25% of a kindergarten class would be affected by this proposal  
          (there were 461,043 kindergarteners in 2008-09).  The California  
          Department of Education (CDE) projects displacement of 3,500  
          teachers associated with this shift.  

          Due to increased emphasis on test scores, kindergarten classes now  
          place heavier emphasis on academics.  Success in kindergarten is  
          not only affected by what a child knows or not knows academically,  
          other factors such as physical, social and emotional readiness are  
          also important.  Delaying the entry of four-year-old children will  
          give them time to prepare and mature (e.g., able to follow  
          directions, take care of themselves).  

          Numerous studies have been conducted relative to school readiness  
          and the age of entry into kindergarten.  Some studies report a  
          benefit to delayed entry while others show there are little or no  
          long-term benefits.  The following are a few highlights:

          A May 2008 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) review of  
          14 existing studies found that students who enter kindergarten at  
          an older age do better on math and reading test scores, with the  
          impact lasting into the eighth grade.  Studies also suggest that  
          older students are less likely to be retained a grade or to be  
          diagnosed with a learning disability, while having higher  
          likelihood of attending college and earning higher wages.  The  
          report notes, however, that the actual birthdate for entry would  
          affect individual pupils in different ways.  Those kids who are  
          delayed for a year will be the older kids in their class, but  
          those with the mid-year birthdays will now be the youngest.  While  
          unlikely to occur, this can potentially affect graduation rates.   
          California's compulsory education law requires attendance in  
          school from six through 18 years of age; kindergarten is not  
          mandatory in California.  Kids who turn 18 earlier will be able to  
          leave school earlier and therefore may not graduate.  

          The PPIC also reports the results of one study that shows that  
          kids from higher income families fare better than kids from  
          disadvantaged families due to increased opportunities for access  
          to prekindergarten/preschool programs.  This is evident by parents  
          who intentionally hold children with fall birthdays back, a  
          practice commonly referred to as "redshirting" in order to provide  
          their children with extra time to gain the skills necessary to be  
          successful for academics.  PPIC has determined that the benefits  
          of delaying entry overrides the negatives, but points out that the  
          effect of delaying entry to kindergarten is contingent upon the  
          extent to which disparities in skill acquisition between kids are  







                                                                  SB 1381
                                                                  Page  5

          removed.  Finally, the PPIC recommends that policymakers pay  
          special attention to the effect on disadvantaged kids and English  
          learners, who may need additional prekindergarten opportunities.  

          Another report, "What Age Should Children Enter Kindergarten? A  
          Question for Policy Makers and Parents" (Stipek, 2002), concludes  
          that school experience makes a greater contribution to academic  
          achievement than delaying children's school entry.  According to  
          Stipek, research does not support any unique "threshold" entry age  
          by which young children are most ready to begin school. Children  
          from low-income backgrounds, already at risk of starting school  
          behind their middle-class peers in terms of academic skills, may  
          be even further disadvantaged when kindergarten is delayed.

          A 2005 study by the RAND Corporation titled "Delaying  
          Kindergarten:  Effects on Test Scores and Childcare Costs" found  
          that delaying kindergarten boosts standardized test scores in math  
          and reading.  However, the study also noted that delaying  
          kindergarten can have a negative economic effect on families by  
          imposing additional childcare costs for families.  The report  
          suggests that "policymakers may need to view entrance age policies  
          and childcare policies as a package."

          The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), in its analysis of the  
          Fiscal Year (FY) 2010-11 budget, supports the date change and  
          recommends implementation beginning in the 2011-12 school year in  
          order to realize approximately $700 million savings from revenue  
          limit and categorical program savings.  The LAO suggests that some  
          of the funding could be used for subsidized preschool for  
          low-income kids.  Concerns have been raised about moving the  
          birthdate for kindergarten for budgetary reasons.  The reason for  
          delaying entry is to ensure that the kids are better prepared for  
          school, academically and social-emotionally.  If over 100,000 kids  
          are prevented from starting their education, the state should  
          ensure that they have access to programs that will ensure their  
          school readiness.  

          This bill proposes to phase in the change over three years time by  
          moving the date by which a child must turn five years old one  
          month at a time, starting with November 1st in the 2012-13 school  
          year.  There have been numerous bills on this subject over the  
          last 13 years.  Some bills have proposed phasing in the change one  
          month each year over three years, while the majority has proposed  
          to make the change in one year.  The author's office argues that  
          phasing in the change results in less of an impact and enables  
          districts to better adjust to the loss of enrollment.  However,  







                                                                  SB 1381
                                                                  Page  6

          the California School Boards Association (CSBA) argues that making  
          the change in one year will be less confusing for families and  
          schools and makes the transition easier.  

          This bill provides that children displaced as a result of the  
          birthday changes shall be admitted to a transitional kindergarten  
          program maintained by the school district, defined as the first  
          year of a two year kindergarten program using a modified  
          kindergarten curriculum.  This bill also establishes that  
          transitional kindergarten is eligible for ADA, but prohibits a  
          school district from claiming ADA for a child for more than two  
          years in kindergarten or for more than two years in a combination  
          of transitional kindergarten and kindergarten.  

          There are anecdotal reports of increasing number of districts  
          experimenting with transitional kindergarten for children with  
          fall birthdays.  Districts are using as the basis of their  
          programs existing law that allows parents and school districts to,  
          upon the conclusion of one year of kindergarten, retain a child in  
          kindergarten for another year.  These programs differ from  
          preschool programs in that they are taught by credentialed  
          teachers and are adapted from kindergarten curriculum.  Another  
          advantage is that the kids will likely be on a schoolsite where  
          they will experience a classroom setting, but without the stigma  
          of being "held back" for another year of kindergarten.  


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087 


                                                                  FN: 0006511